We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sid Choraria, Managing Partner of Marwar. Based in Hong Kong, Sid applies a bottom-up value approach, including extensive scuttlebutt research, to investing in Asia.

Sid Choraria joined Amiral Research as Head of Asian equities research in Singapore to adopt Amiral Gestion’s value investment process in the inefficient Asian equity markets. Prior to Amiral, Sid worked as Portfolio Manager and Vice President at APS Asset Management in Singapore, a $2.7bn leading hedge fund in Asia. Previously, Sid worked at Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong.

MOI Global: Please tell us about your background and how you became interested in value investing. Which people or events have influenced your investment thinking the most, and why?

The investing opportunity set is huge in Asia, with more than double the number of listed companies than in the U.S.

Sid Choraria: Firstly, I grew up in India around an entrepreneurial family from the region of Marwar (Rajasthan), where I learned about business as my father, a first generation entrepreneur, worked hard to start and grow his company. Though I did not know it at the time I was learning, at an early age, the importance of returns on invested capital, free cash flow, and the power of compounding.

Second, early in my finance career, I read the early partnership letters (late 1950s – 1970) of Berkshire when Mr. Buffett was in his 20s. I was immediately struck by the simplicity and elegance of value investing. Outside of my family, these letters have had the single biggest influence on my life which has led to a deep interest in value investing. The letters sparked my interest to read constantly, be curious, and engage in something you love. Along the way, several investors have further shaped various aspects of my thinking, like Peter Lynch on finding niche ideas in day to day life, Munger on incentives, Fisher on scuttlebutt research, Mohnish Pabrai’s book The Dhandho Investor and the annual letters of Third Avenue, Baupost and Dalton Investments.

In terms of my background, I have spent most of my career in Asia at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Prior to Goldman, I worked at a value fund in New York for a Columbia adjunct value investing professor and an NYU alumn analyzing under-researched small and mid-cap companies and special situations. I have an MBA from NYU Stern, where I was a Harvey Beker Scholar and member of the Michael Price Value Fund (part of the university endowment fund). I have been incredibly lucky to meet mentors in my career along the way who have encouraged me – it is the people that we meet that make a difference!

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